To boldly go…

Rosanna Machado | December 14, 2021

I attended a workshop last week with the brilliant Steve Chapman about getting comfortable with uncertainty. Steve said “Where the words run out is where the magic happens” and the invitation to was to notice what you notice – nothing is right or wrong and Steve created a really welcoming and safe environment.

What did I notice? Whilst it is true that I have got much more comfortable with uncertainty over the past few years, I am still doing it within a fairly limited forum. Generally, it only involves me so I don’t need to consider how others view me and my response is often to rewrite the rules and framework around the new situation. When other people are involved, for example when I am coaching, I start to worry about whether my uncertainty might be perceived as incompetence.

How often do I truly embrace the uncertainty without formulating new rules (anyone who has read my previous blogs will know that I love a rule!). I also learnt that I may feel the need to fill a silence – I thought I was doing everyone a favour by getting the conversation going. I hadn’t realised that the silence is where those thoughts formulate and ruminate (for me as well as others) and if you leave it longer, that is where the magic happens.

My learning from this is that we all have narratives and pre-conceived ideas about how we should behave or how we are perceived by others. These can often stop us being bold and vulnerable. What’s the answer?

  • Try to let go of your preconceptions of what should happen
  • Hold lightly how you think things will work out
  • We often subconsciously create a number of additional rules and if you go back to the core, there is more opportunity for spontaneity and creativity than you realise
  • Be curious
  • Be aware of your emotions and sensations
  • Allow yourself to be fully present and respond according to your what you think and feel rather than what you think you should think or feel or say

Most of all I think this takes preparation. There is less preparation time in practical planning but if you really want to be spontaneous and embrace the uncertainty, the best way to prepare for this is to ensure that you are fully aware and present and in tune with your emotions and sensations. I would argue this requires more prep time because unless you can get to that place, there will always be an unhelpful narrative or a distraction stopping you from boldly going into the unknown.